Second Lieutenant Alexander Smith

Second Lieutenant Alexander Noel Smith, 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He died in France, aged 20, on 26th September 1916 of wounds received in action during the Battle of the Somme. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Smith of Berwick and is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. He was wounded in the attack on ” Sunken Trench ” in the Mametz Wood sector where the Battalion suffered heavy casualties especially in Officers with 3 killed and 7 wounded. Other Ranks lost 114 killed and 219 wounded and little ground was gained.  By this time the autumnal rains had turned the battlefields into a glutinous quagmire making all movement very difficult as can be seen from the photographs. The colour photograph shows the impressive Memorial raised to the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part until February 1918 when it was transferred to the 42nd ( East Lancashire ) Division as the Pioneer Battalion. It was erected near the village of Weiltje in the Ypres Salient where nearby on 26th April 1915 the Division had fought its first action of the War only days after landing on the Continent.

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